Hopefully the title got your attention. I apologize to my readers, now numbering in the tens, for my lull in writing. I should also tell you that after a bottle of wine, kindly provided by our neighbors, that this, at least in my own mind, will be a great read. I am happily, almost comfortably into my ninth month of retirement. Ironically, a couple can produce a child in that time frame but I guess finding one’s self in retirement is sort of the equivalent.
Not sure why this picture seems approprite, but something about the child, the mask and the arms raised in victory strikes a cord with me.
I have found my purpose and that seemed to be everyone’s fear for me when I announced my retirement. “What are you going to do with yourself?” That seemed to be everyone’s concern. If you remember, I started making lists. I am happy, no elated to tell you that I checked and I haven’t accomplished any of those things yet. The list was stupid. It was too long and it included things I assumed would put everyone’s worries at ease. Turns out it only made me tired thinking of all I would have to accomplish.
So let me tell you how it is actually working out. The book I am writing, it will be a great success if two things can happen. One, I can take one hundred years to write it and two, I will live that long and some how have any of the faculties left to write coherently. I had one bottle of wine and you are currently witnessing the results. The alternative to that plan is that there is a publisher out there looking to publish the world’s shortest, we are talking ten pages, “how to succeed at life” novel. Can you call ten pages a novel? Then there’s the travel. We have managed a four day get away to a Florida convention resort where we begged to be upgraded to a real room, you know, one with a view of actual water and I don’t mean the retention pond beyond the parking lot. We squeezed in a week skiing in Colorado, everyone says go South, somewhere warm, by the ocean, we go to snow covered mountains. And then there was the golf. I was going to golf every week if not every day….. right, not so much. But it turns out that was a good thing as retirement doesn’t actually improve your golf game. Turns out it requires practice, patience and perseverance, of which I have, oh yeah, none of those qualities or at least not the time for them.
But not all is lost. I have found the secret to retirement. It turns out it is doing nothing and feeling busy. It is enjoying a sunrise with coffee on your deck. It is reading the paper for enjoyment instead of worry, you just skip all the news stories and focus on the comics. It is changing your mind and doing the last thing on your list instead of the first. It is skipping everything and sitting on the deck, watching the sunset and finishing off a bottle of wine with no regrets for tomorrow morning. It is letting the day find you instead of trying to find yourself.
There is one other accomplishment for which I am both proud and grateful. I found an organization, SCORE, that has completely fulfilled me. I discovered that the passion in my career came from helping and mentoring others, sometimes helping them do and become things even I couldn’t do for myself. In this volunteer position, I get to mentor new businesses. I marvel at their dreams and aspirations and then I get to answer their questions and tell them what I learned from both my mistakes and my successes. I return from these sessions recharged and envigorated. It is the exercise of your passion that rewards you for the years you spent working at figuring out what it was.
So take heart all you worriers. I am alive and doing well in retirement. My list has been put in the back of my desk drawer where it belongs and I am allowing each new day to write its own “to do” list for me. Now if you don’t mind, I will sign off. I’ve got a million things to not do yet today. Manana.